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  1. When I say this I believe that I speak on behalf of the majority of VATSIM users (both ATC and pilots) but the whole ideal of Eurocontrol is flawed from the outset. Correct me if I'm wrong but the whole idea of these quite frankly mega unrealistic positions (on what is supposed to be a realistic simulation network) was to improve ATC coverage in Europe in the days where traffic was much quieter and ATC much more uncommon. These days the majority of divisions/vacc's are much more active which makes Eurocontrol in a sense redundant. From the ATC perspective controlling adjacent to Eurocontrol there comes many issues: Handoff order: Often very late, way past the sector boundary making descents/arrival clearances in time near impossible. Compliance with LoA's: Non existent, from listening to people that have been trained on these positions agreements with adjacent sectors are not taught in training which causes all sorts of problems in busy airspace's such as London. Separation: Very rare that this is done correctly, normally level separated only not considering the consequences of two aircraft on the same airway going to the same airport with 0 lateral separation. Coordination: Private messages can go unanswered for ages because they are too busy managing the workload of what would normally be controlled by 5 different countries and 20 different FIR's (Especially bad during mentoring sessions) Use of Identification in none mode S airspace: Always seem to be giving squawk 1000 to us in the UK which is completely inappropriate and causes us yet more work to re-identify that aircraft! From the pilot perspective: Frequencies with over 40 aircraft on (completely unrealistic in the real world for a controller to be maintaining the safety of that many planes in the air) make it impossible to call up for ages. Always having to call up for descents because the controller isn't actually controlling the frequency more reacting -> leads to being too high by the time the descent has been given. Being given a direct varying between 500 to 1500 miles - even in free-route airspace this is completely stupid at times, pilots may as well file GPS direct if EURW is online! Loud overcrowded frequency 9 times out of 10 for the entire duration of your flight - not good for the ears! Eurocontrol had its place but considering the above and recent traffic levels I and many others would like to (at a minimum) see restrictions of when it can be opened and have a major improvement in the training for these huge positions.
    40 points
  2. Dear All, As my second 2-year term serving as VATSIM’s President ends, I am writing to inform you that I will not be seeking a third term as VATSIM’s President. After four years of serving in in this role, I have decided to allow another member of the Board of Governors to take the reins and keep VATSIM moving forward. I joined this great community 15 years ago and it has been a massive part of my life ever since. I was honoured to be able to serve on the Board of Governors since 2014 and have enjoyed being a small part of bringing positive changes to VATSIM. Thousands of our volunteer members, driven by the same desire to make VATSIM a better place have brought us long needed changes such as Audio for VATSIM, the New Member Orientation course and knowledge check, a modern Code of Conduct, backend technology changes, and many other positive improvements to VATSIM. I want to thank all our volunteer members who dedicate their time developing, controlling, training, supervising, flying, or otherwise supporting VATSIM. We are still within one of the most challenging transition periods we have seen in VATSIM’s history with a 40% increase in membership over the last few years to the pandemic as well as release of a new simulation platform that brought flight simulation to a whole new market. You have risen to the challenge even when faced with the enormous real-world pressures that our current reality has put on our daily lives. As I step back from the role of VATSIM’s President, I have two reflections from my time in the position. Firstly, VATSIM is unique as it is a community that is large enough to be seen by many as a place that should be hugely efficient in delivering new features. The reality is that we are a volunteer organization which will always be driven by the productive output of our volunteers. We must drive better development by engaging with our members to contribute instead of being a closed shop. In the past few years, we have made great strides here by encouraging our volunteer developers by opening our traditionally closed development process and actively inviting people to help improve VATSIM. We have further to go, and I urge us all to continue to embrace the idea of member-driven input whist appreciating that because we are so big, we must set a clear direction of how we as members can contribute. Secondly, we must all remember that we are on the same team and truly have the same end goal. We all want VATSIM to succeed and be the best online aviation community in the world. We may have differed and passionate opinions on how we get to that goal, but it is through open and honest communication that we reach this goal. Too many times, we have had disputes via email or discord text which have driven wedges into our communities, causing irreparable harm or destroying our communities, when a voice conversation where everyone can be heard has resolved the dispute. I have personally spent many hours resolving such disputes. The amount of time we spend on these disputes could be better used to bring positive changes to the community. So, I challenge all of us to channel our passions and instead of doing nothing, build constructive relationships, especially when disagreements arise! I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for VATSIM and excited to see Tim move into the role of President. He has served in his various positions on the Board of Governors fabulously and is a huge advocate for building on the success of this great community. Finally, I would like to again thank everyone who has supported VATSIM and myself over the years, especially my colleagues on the BoG and Founders who have been a source of guidance and support during my tenure as VATSIM’s President. My greatest thanks of all are to the behind-the-scenes volunteers performing the thankless jobs which keep VATSIM running; our division staff and their local volunteers, as well as our membership managers, supervisors, and technical teams who respond around the clock to technical hiccoughs and relentlessly pursue improvements to our infrastructure. We truly could not do it without all of you. I look forward to seeing you on the network.
    31 points
  3. Norman Blackburn retires from the Board of Governors After 13 years as the Vice President of Conflict Resolution, Norman Blackburn has announced his retirement from the Board of Governors. Norman joined in the BoG in June 2007 and has been a stalwart in promoting excellence in online behaviour and ensuring that when members have been referred to the Conflict Resolution process, that they have been dealt with in a fair and timely fashion. Norman has developed many Division Conflict Resolutions Managers (DCRM) during his tenure and has been an active participant in BoG discussions and decisions since his appointment. Norman plans to continue to play an active role on the VATSIM network as time commitments allow so we expect to see his name around our virtual skies for many years to come. As an interim measure, VP Operations Mark Richards, will look after the Conflict Resolution portfolio as well to ensure a smooth transition to the new VP Conflict Resolution in due course. We are now working through the finer points for the appointment of a successor for Norman. On behalf of the Board of Governors, Founders, Executive Committee, Conflict Resolution team and all members, I would like to thank Norman for his 13 years of dedicated service to VATSIM and wish him all the best in his retirement.
    31 points
  4. Dear Members, I would like to start by thanking everyone who took a few minutes to offer congratulations on my election to the position of President of the VATSIM Network. My colleagues on the Board of Governors have put their faith in me, and I look forward to working with them, and all of our volunteers in leading this network into the future. Under the leadership of Gunnar Lindahl, VATSIM has reached levels of membership and technology that previously were thought unattainable. Among the best tributes I have read described him as the most “stable, influential, and consequential President we ever had to date”, and this is especially true considering the challenges this world threw at us during the latter part of his four year tenure. This is certainly not to take away from the Presidents who came before him - Founders Harvey Stein and Richard Jenkins, followed by David Klain, Steven Cullen, and Kyle Ramsey...I truly walk in the footsteps of giants, and we all owe a lot to the six Presidents who preceded me. To them, I offer my heartfelt thanks for all you did, and continue to do to make VATSIM what it is today. During my time as a member of this network, I have always enjoyed hearing about the various “VATSIM histories” of our members. It is interesting to find out what brought someone to this network, and what keeps them involved. Many of the members I consider friends have taken their VATSIM experience and turned it into an aviation career, while others have started streaming content thus raising the visibility of our network. Some, like me, have brought their aviation careers to the network. This is my story - records show that I joined VATSIM in August of 2001, but my involvement in flight simulation dates back to 1983 when my father opened the first personal computer store in our town. It was at that store that an employee introduced me to Microsoft Flight Simulator v1.0, and I was hooked. By 1990 at the age of 18, I had my Private Pilots Licence, and in 1997 I graduated from an aviation college with a fresh CPL and a job towing advertising banners and flying traffic patrol over the cities of Toronto and Vancouver. In 1998 I returned home and over the next 9 years I earned my ATPL while flying a Cessna 421B on predominantly air ambulance missions across the Province of Ontario - with some charter work thrown in for good measure. I have some really good stories from my work as a pilot, so just ask if you are ever interested. When I retired from piloting in 2007, VATSIM took a more important place in my life by keeping me involved in, and feeding my passion in all things aviation. This, in turn, led me to roles within VATCAN, VATNA, and then the Board of Governors. VATSIM is a simulation network, not a game - there, I said it. This really should not be a polarizing statement because that was the intent of the Founders of this network when they created it a little over 20 years ago. For many it is a passionate hobby, for others a place to learn, and for still others, a place to teach. Above all however, VATSIM should and must be a safe place for all members, regardless of background or personal history, to feel safe, protected and welcome while celebrating all that virtual aviation has to offer. For me, there is simply no compromise on this. Membership in VATSIM is a privilege, not a right, and those people fundamentally incompatible with the network are simply not welcome. There are many exciting projects currently under development for our network, and I look forward to sharing more about them in due time. As a group, your leadership team is always looking for ways to enhance the experience for our members, and we are also always open to hearing your suggestions. If you have an idea we should consider, please email me at president(at)vatsim.net and I will make sure we have a look at it. Next week I will be in San Diego for FSExpo and I invite you to please come and introduce yourself if you see me wandering around. If you catch me at the right time, you may find me sharing a couple of bags of In and Out burgers with the other VATSIM members and volunteers in attendance. (IYKYK) Also, if you see me online controlling in my two current homes of ZYZ or ZMA, or flying in my favourite study level sim, please don’t hesitate to say hi. Again, thanks to all for the honour of leading this network. Let’s continue to enjoy it together.
    27 points
  5. Message from: Gunnar Lindahl, VATSIM President Date of Release: 9 August 2020 Like any organisation, VATSIM needs to constantly review the way that we deliver our services to our membership. It’s important that we adapt to the way our organisation is evolving, whilst recognising that VATSIM remains a hobby, above all. The past twelve months have seen some of the biggest changes in our history. In October 2019, VATSIM delivered a new voice platform that has revolutionised the experience for both pilots and controllers. Since then, we have delivered a new pilot client for X-Plane and our developers continue to develop our existing clients to match the changes. Audio for VATSIM is fully integrated with our leading pilot clients. A new ATC client, developed based on the Australian TAAATS system, has been released with Audio for VATSIM fully integrated, the first ATC client to do so. VATSIM is also modernising the network’s infrastructure to provide significant stability improvements for pilots and controllers, with the next step being to release fast position updates so that VATSIM pilots see real-time visual movement from other aircraft. We have also modernized our website, developed a personalized member portal, and are working on a global events calendar - all of these are in the final stages of development. In addition to all of the technical improvements, the Board of Governors and Executive Committee have spent the past six months reviewing the leadership structure of VATSIM. As a result of that review, VATSIM is moving to a leaner leadership structure. VATSIM has been operating in its current form since it was founded in July 2001, with three layers of governance; the Founders, Board of Governors (BoG) and Executive Committee (EC). The Founders are the owners of the Network who generally have a ‘hands-off’ approach to the day to day running of the Network and creation of policy. The Founders monitor the work of the Board of Governors. The BoG has responsibility for setting the strategy as well as day to day management of VATSIM, including the creation of policy and ensuring existing policies are kept up to date and meet the needs of our membership. The Executive Committee represents the Regions, Divisions and underlying local facilities on VATSIM. In other words: the parts of VATSIM where the vast majority of our activity as a community happens. However in the current structure, the facilities of VATSIM have only one seat on the Board of Governors: the Vice President – Regions. Currently, from an organizational construct, the Board of Governors has too many organizational layers separating it from the general membership. This is not the type of approach my team and I want. We are focused on being hands-on, adaptable, flexible, and, most of all, approachable and tuned in to our hobby. One of our current opportunities is to restructure the membership of the Board to ensure it fairly reflects the importance of the different components of our network. Following the review of the leadership structure of VATSIM, the following revitalised structure has been proposed, with the full support of the BoG and the EC: Integration of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee Disestablishment of the Vice President Regions position on the Board of Governors Disestablishment of the Region Director role Reduction in the number of Regions from six to three Creation of three new Vice President positions on the Board of Governors, responsible for the following regions VP Americas VP Europe, Middle East and Africa VP Asia Pacific The changes see the BoG increase in size by two members from 12 to 14 to reflect the direct access from the membership to the BoG via the VP of their Region. Division Directors are some of our most valued volunteers on this network. They keep large, critical portions of the community running smoothly. This change will have each Division Director reporting directly to their Regional VP, who will sit on the Board of Governors – taking a layer out of VATSIM’s hierarchy. The BoG and EC believe that this flatter structure will ensure that the membership’s voice is truly reflected in the decisions of the BoG and provide greater transparency to the Divisions. The six Regions of VATSIM have in many instances been successful vessels to drive cross-division events and other collaboration. I must stress that this change will not negatively impact the great work done in this space. The Regional VPs will be well placed to run their Regions as they see fit, which is likely to include a small support structure, particularly in the busier parts of VATSIM, to help them execute their responsibilities. Between now and the end of September 2020, the EC will continue to function as it currently does as VATSIM transitions to the new structure from 1 October 2020. The transition plan to the new structure is as follows: 16 August 2020 – New Position Descriptions are released for the three Region Vice Presidents and applications open 30 August 2020 – Applications close and applicants are short-listed by the BoG 15 September 2020 – The successful applicants are announced to the membership 1 October 2020 – The new structure is in place Any member may apply for the three new Vice President positions, provided that they meet the requirements of the Position Descriptions. As part of this change, the Board is exploring how it can better make itself available to our members going forward. We have committed to publishing updates more frequently than our quarterly meeting minutes, and will re-establish our ‘Town Hall’ format meetings on a regular basis as part of this change, circulating around each Region in a variety of timezones to allow our members to make suggestions and for us to share our thoughts with the community on the future of VATSIM. I hope you will join me in welcoming these exciting changes to the network.
    24 points
  6. Hello everybody, encouraged by the super-positive feedback to my "transitions in Germany" posting yesterday I'd like to follow-up will another topic that seems to leave some pilots unsure on what they are supposed to do and what they are allowed to do - vacating the runway. At first glance this sounds totally easy - vacating? So just get off the runway and everybody should be happy or? But how far shall you go then on the taxiway? And which turn-off should you have used in the first place? Airport layouts vary extremely all over the world and same applies for the taxiways leading to and from the runways - from high-speed turn-offs to just a single connection enforcing a back-track after landing nearly everything is possible. So I definitely can't go into each one of them - and for some it's either written in the charts or advised by the controller if it's ok to use a (non-) active crossing runway for taxi or not. But there are some assumptions and common features that you can always apply. First of all - always have a look at the airport layout when you are doing your little approach briefing - what is the runway setup, where are the terminals, even without knowing which gate you might end up with - get an overview: How long is the landing runway, how much landing distance will you likely need -> what are the possible taxiways for vacating - does it make sense to break hard to catch an exit prior a longer stretch without any or are there high-speed turn-offs and you can stay rather fast? This mental picture will help you a lot later-on when things might get busy after landing. Let's start with the first decision you have to take - which turn-off to take? Sometimes it's easy - ATC simply will tell you via which taxiway to vacate during the approach - either because there isn't much traffic and he/she wants to make it at smooth as possible for you or there are other reasons like blocked taxiways with departing traffic etc. Picture? yeah let's look at an example: This is Nürnberg, EDDN - landing direction in this case in rwy 28 (the blue arrow) - and as you can see there is a smaller GA turbo-prop waiting at taxiway C for takeoff. So if you are now coming in to land I as tower would tell you to "vacate via D or later" just to make sure that you don't end up head-on with the outbound and you don't smash into your breaks hard as it might initially have looked like a shortening of the taxi to the gates just to realize that C is blocked and then rather slowly continue to taxi on the active runway to the next exit. As atc my priority is to get the runway free as soon as possible so I can use it again for departures or following arrivals. Let's look at another example: This is Munich, EDDM - landing direction here rwy 26R - and you can already see this airport is suited for way more traffic than Nürnberg - there are taxiways designed to allow arriving traffic to quickly leave the active runway to ensure really rapid departure and arrival sequences. These taxiways have no real speed limit but most airlines have some defined in their procedures - you can easily use them with 60 kts. Here also as tower I might tell you "vacating via A4 approved" if I have low traffic and want to shorten you slower taxi to Apron 1 (which is in the west) but usually I would expect you to leave the runway as soon as possible and as quick as possible so I can release the next departure or the next arrival might already be close to the threshold when you get off the runway - we only need 2.5 nm spacing on the final if conditions are right - so that trailing aircraft might already be flashing the landing lights for you to get off. 😉 Let's look a bit closer to that part in the middle with the unmarked taxiway 90° to the runway: I put the red X there for a reason - this taxiway is closed in RL but that's not reflected in some sceneries (especially default) - but also if it would be open - don't use such a turn-off if you have the option between such a 90° (or more) turn on the runway after landing compared to a high-speed exit via one of the high-speed taxiways. Again - the goal is to get you off the runway as quick as possible. Here it is closed for real but also at other airports - the controller will always appreciate it if you pick the quick exit versus the slow one (except he told you differently). You will have spotted the little red lines on the taxiways in the screenshots above and you for sure will also have seen lines in your scenery at this position - what about them and connected the question "where to stop?" - "how far shall I go on my own then?". Let's have a look now at the simulator: Every now and then I see pilots stopping at this position - just landed on runway 26R, vacated via A6 and now there is this line on the ground so "better stop here...or??". No, don't stop if you are going in this direction! This is the holding point marker for departures. In the close-up you can see the difference in the marking - for the departure-direction you have 2 solid lines which indicate "STOP!" (unless cleared to cross/line-up/takeoff) - but for you as an arrival in your direction there are two dashed lines which indicate to not stop here as this line isn't applicable for you. If you stop at this position you are still so close to the runway that you are inside the protected area. So continue on until you reach the next real stopping point or taxiway junction where it would be possible for you to take at least 2 different paths. So we continue on our taxiway until we come to another line - what's now this? You have found a CAT II/III holding point - this is only relevant for low visibility procedures. Departures will be cleared to taxi only until this point when CAT II or III ILS approaches are done (so mainly during fog) as the area between these lines and the runway has to be clear to not impact the precision of the localizer. So also for arrivals under such weather conditions it's important to leave this area asap to enable the next aircraft to land - so continue also here. Now we reached a point where it is no longer clear where you shall go - straight-right or hard-left on M? - continue on A6 in the middle to then go left or right on N? - that's where you stop if you didn't get any further instruction - but also really don't go further on your own as there might be traffic crossing on these taxiways etc. - if ATC is busy you can take the waiting-time now to clean-up your aircraft (flaps etc.) - for him/her you are now a slightly lower priority and he/she will first issue takeoff, landing or line-up clearances but will also try to get you away from this position quickly as behind there might already be the next 1 or 2 aircraft vacating via the same taxiway... so if you get an instruction while "cleaning up" - taxi first and then continue with the flaps etc. when you are on your way. Even in RL you sometimes see aircraft turning into the gate with flaps just moving to the up position if the taxi-in went real quick and the FO was busy doing the radio. Just a little look back to the runway - as you can see you already made a lot of room there compared to stopping too early. This was now a look at a rather simple example - there are places where due to very close-by parallel runways it is crucial to stop earlier - let's have a look at the Vatsim-Germany ground chart for Berlin Tegel (EDDT) for this (https://vatsim-germany.org/pilots/aerodrome/EDDT): Imagine you land on rwy 26R and vacate via the high-speed turn-off RW - the parallel runway 26L is very close and there could be a departure going out while you are still in the roll-out. So make sure you check the lines in front of you on the taxiway - if the double-solid line is on the side you are coming from -> Stop! if not otherwise instructed. That's about all that came across my mind when thinking about this topic - let me know if you have (further) questions - it's well possible that out there are way more complicated situations with crossing runways and taxiways but the general principles should be the same - and if in doubt - just ask the controller - always try to be some steps ahead of your aircraft by asking yourself "what will I have to do next and might there be something unclear?". So far - stay healthy and safe and always three greens! 🙂 Cheers Michael
    23 points
  7. Today we celebrate 20 years of VATSIM! An incredible feat, and one which would not have been possible without all our members, past and present. You have contributed to our community by flying, providing air traffic services, and serving as supervisors or in administrative positions to ensure that our network continues to grow and be successful. To celebrate, we are starting a month-long celebration with events on the network, interviews with some of our staff members, distributing over $2,500 of prizes, and some other surprises! During the next few weeks, we will be visiting all the regions, hosting special events nearly every day, ranging from VFR to IFR, First Wings to Oceanic, and simple to challenging approaches. There will be something for everyone! Within the coming days we will be opening a website for you to enter a raffle for multiple great prizes donated from the greater flight simulation community. Every member will receive 20 entries automatically plus one additional entry for each year they have been an active VATSIM member. Which they can use to enter for each prize as many times as they have entries. Want more entries? Participation in the anniversary events will yield one additional entry for each event you participate in from July 27 until August 22nd. Thank you to our friends at Orbx, PMDG, FlightBeam Studios, Navigraph, Simmarket, Skalarki Electronics, Flight Velocity, FS Reborn, FlightSim Expo, and VirtualFly for their generous donations to our celebrations. Stay tuned to our social media feeds, community discord server, myVATSIM, and the VATSIM forums for updates on the on and off network events. We encourage everyone to participate events, explore new countries, experience new ATC, and most of all, enjoy the anniversary celebrations! Thank you once more for being a part of VATSIM, and we look forward to many more years of great fun!
    21 points
  8. VATSIM is delighted to annouce two major news items today. The first is our new branding and logo as seen above. We will be rolling out more information on the logo in the coming days as well as a branding guide to our members that have a need to use our new look. The second is that we have been working with the team at Microsoft and Asobo Studios for some time and are happy to annouce that VATSIM will be compatable with Microsoft Flight Simulator upon launch on August 18th, 2020. As we celebrate the next generation of Flight Simulation with Microsoft, we're announcing the start of VATSIM's next chapter with a fresh new look. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing some amazing updates to our community that will really drive the meaning of our new tagline, "Aviate. Educate. Communicate."
    20 points
  9. Happy 20th anniversary to VATSIM. I can vividly remember the moment that Roberto flipped the switch and we were live on our own network. Special mention to the Founders who helped build the finest online aviation simulation in the world. I know we are all proud of the staff and members who define who we are. Stay Safe, Stay Well and Blue Skies to all. Again, Happy Anniversary. Harv Stein VATSIM5
    17 points
  10. You may be increasing access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members, but this fails to fulfil the second part "whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known". If controllers are allowed to continue controlling after showing they do not want to maintain the "standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known." then we are not upholding the purpose of the document that lets them do that. This is truly all about quantity over quality.
    17 points
  11. After 10 years with no updates, I have finally updated VAT-Spy. It now downloads the data files from the VAT-Spy Data Project web site on GitHub. It will automatically download any new files posted to that site. Here's the full change log: VAT-Spy now pulls data from new VATSIM JSON data feed Added automatic updating of the VAT-Spy application Added automatic updating of the VAT-Spy data files from the VAT-Spy Data Project on GitHub Zooming using the mouse wheel now zooms towards or away from the mouse cursor Removed broken Simroutes.com links Set data refresh rate at 1 minute Removed the option to change the data refresh rate Note that if you have customized your data files to have anything that is not present in the data files found on the VAT-Spy Data Project web site, then those files will get overwritten with the official data files from that site when you first run v1.1.0-beta.3. If you don't want to use the official files, you can go into the VAT-Spy settings and disable downloading of the official data files. You can then restore the backup of your customized files, and they won't get overwritten by VAT-Spy when new versions are posted to the GitHub site. Please remember that this version is still considered to be in the beta testing phase. There will likely be bugs and crashes. Please post here any feedback or bug reports here in this forum.
    17 points
  12. Hello everybody, we lately are running into a lot of pilots unfamiliar with the transition concept in Germany and as traffic nowadays is so busy that it's hard to explain it during controlling I thought it might be helpful to create a little how-to in the hope of better understanding. Transitions in Germany are usually a way to reduce the amount of time-critical radio transmissions in the approach phase to the larger airports by replacing the vectoring into the downwind to the landing runway by defined RNAV waypoints which are always coded beginning with the last two characters of the airport you are flying to and 3 digits usually starting with a 4 - so if you fly to Frankfurt, EDDF these waypoints are called DF4xx, at Berlin-Tegel (EDDT) they are called DT4xx or at Hamburg, EDDH they are called DH4xx. For pilots we are sure are familiar with the airport we sometimes even shorten those to just "waypoint 4xx" as the letters are clear anyway. Now let's have a look at how these transitions look like - I take my base Munich, EDDM as the example as I'm most familiar with it but the overall scheme is roughly identical everywhere. Let's imagine we are flying to EDDM and runways 08 are in use and we come from the North-West - usually you will file the ANORA 3A STAR - filing STARs in Germany is compulsory but even if you aren't aware of this all STAR charts into Munich have the sentence "When reaching the first point of a STAR using the STAR to the clearance limit is mandatory" on them. So let's head over to our charts (https://vatsim-germany.org/pilots/aerodrome/EDDM) and have a look at the STARs from NW: I marked the important things in yellow here - some descent planning, the famous sentence to "fly until the clearance limit" and to expect transition or radar vectoring otherwise to enter the holding. The clearance limit for all these STARs is ROKIL - so if you don't get any further clearance that's where you enter into the holding - usually pilots call "approaching clearance limit" or "approaching ROKIL" if they are less than 5 nm from ROKIL and the frequency isn't totally overloaded - otherwise just hold, there is usually a reason why you didn't get a further clearance and just continuing will most certainly make the situation for the approach controller worse if he is already overloaded (which most likely is the reason you didn't get a further clearance yet). These Clearance Limits are somehow the safeguard for the approach airspace - the enroute clearance you got at your departure airport de-facto ends here. So how will we continue from here - either you will get vectors - in low traffic situations a straight-in for the ILS 08L or 08R is the norm - or you will get a transition clearance - so let's look at the appropriate chart for that - runways 08 are in use so we take this transition chart (charts from Navigraph, Lido or EAD are all sorted a bit different here but you should find them either as a separate chart or included into the ILS approach charts): You see here all the clearance limits from all sides into EDDM and from each of them a transition to final starts - our clearance limit was ROKIL, so you can expect to get the ROKIL 08 transition (for runways 26 there of course is the ROKIL 26 transition as well). Here you now see all these DM4xx waypoints I was talking about before - from ROKIL they first form an upwind which then leads into the downwind from DM412 to DM427 and is actually "endless" (continue on the heading after DM420) as the turn to final will always be a vector by ATC. In your FMC/MCDU you will usually not see all these points but only the edge points or those with a speed or altitude restriction (those pesky memory limitations in those steam-age FMCs...). Don't be surprised if we clear you direct to one of the other waypoints you see here - this is always a shortcut for you and sometimes you will even get a "direct DM431" which will bring you straight into the final. Very often you will get something like "proceed direct DM424 there-after DM420" - so just use the DCT function of your FMC/MCDU and insert these two waypoints after each other - I marked such a potential situation with the blue arrows - it safes you about 30 nm and the controller only has to give you one instruction instead of two to get you onto the downwind ("turn right HDG 170" and a time-critical "turn right HDG 260" for the downwind turn). And that's already it - might look a bit overwhelming at first but it's really simple when you did it once. Now how to find the transition in your FMC/MCDU? It's not an arrival/STAR but an approach transition - so you usually have to first select one of the runways until it will appear with the other approaches. In most high-traffic situations you won't have a runway assignment yet when you get the transition clearance as this usually is done by the Director position to which you will be handed off on downwind abeam the airfield - so just pick the runway you will most likely get (you can see them in the FMS coding at the bottom) - the northern runway for arrivals from the north (via ROKIL and LANDU) the southern runway from the south (via BETOS and NAPSA) - cargo can generally expect the southern runway for shorter taxi-in. And even if Director will then select a different runway for you - from abeam the airfield on downwind you still have 20+ nm until your turn onto the ILS - so plenty of time to switch to the other runway. This was Munich - now is it the same everywhere in Germany? Not 100%, but the system is very very similar - the position of the clearance limit on the STAR might differ - in Munich it is inside the STAR, at other places it is already at the beginning. Some airports move now to call them RNAV STARs like in Hamburg or some in Frankfurt. At some airports they lead into the final (EDDH) at others you shall continue on the heading after the last point. The important thing I wanted to get over is that you don't have to be afraid in case you get such a waypoint or transition clearance - have a look at the charts - I hope you know now what you have to look for - but also don't be afraid to tell us if you are unable and want vectors - this in any way is better than just reading back the instruction you got but flying something else. We have a lot of cases lately where we get a readback for "ROKIL 08" but then the pilot flies ROKIL-MIQ which is the rest of the STAR - this first looks like it's correct as the heading is very similar but in the end results in short notice vectors and additional workload the controller didn't expect or even totally undefined routings after reaching MIQ directly to the airfield which is always an adrenaline rush if the downwind is full. If you have questions - don't hesitate to ask - that's why I brought this up here - our skies are getting so busy that we rely on these procedures to keep our head over the water as they are a huge time and transmission saver! 🙂 Cheers Michael
    17 points
  13. Major Revision to VATSIM’s Code of Regulations As previously announced, VATSIM is completing a major change to its governance structure with a primary goal of simplifying the organization’s hierarchy, thus bringing the membership even closer to the Board of Governors and ensuring better collaboration and alignment throughout the organizational structure. Effective 01 October 2020, a new revision of VATSIM’s Code of Regulations (CoR) will go into effect. This revision incorporates twenty-one amendments to the Code of Regulations, the largest single change to this document in VATSIM’s history. The Code of Regulations is VATSIM’s governing document which outlines how VATSIM’s leadership structure is organized and conducts business, as well as the roles and responsibilities of every member on the senior leadership team and outlines the conflict resolution process for members who violate VATSIM’s rules. This revision has major positive impacts on the general VATSIM member. The largest change is the consolidation of our six regions to three. This gives all VATSIM members much closer access to the Board of Governors by making each leader of these regions a Vice President with a seat on the Board of Governors. Each Division Director will now be directly supported and represented by a Vice President, meaning that the desires of our entire membership will be heard directly and more expeditiously by VATSIM’s highest governing body. This revision to the Code of Regulations will not remove the broad latitude that Division Directors have when running their division, but it does empower the VP of each Region to set broad goals that are in line with VATSIM’s overall goals as set by the Board of Governors, and hold Division Directors accountable to meet these goals. This means leadership by committee with input from the individual member will be the future for VATSIM. There are a number of other smaller changes incorporated to improve and streamline our processes: for example Division Conflict Resolution Managers will now be appointed directly by the VP Conflict Resolution, with input from the Division Director. Change can be challenging, and we do expect some minor growing pains as we implement the new structure. However, after working on this project for over a year, we are confident that this new, slimmer leadership style will allow VATSIM to respond more quickly to the ever-changing needs of our membership and give you, our fellow VATSIM members, a larger voice as we go into the future. We are already working on ensuring that our systems are adapted for this change, and will be making various changes to our web services over the coming days to optimise them for our new way of working. Changes to the VATSIM Board of Governors VATSIM is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members of the Board of Governors, as the final part of the organizational leadership change.After a thorough selection process, three candidates have been chosen to fill these critical leadership positions on the Board. Please welcome them! Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa Region – Simon Irvine Current VATSIM Europe Region Director, Simon Irvine, has been appointed to the VATSIM Board of Governors as the Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Simon will be responsible for all the divisions within the new Europe, Middle East and Africa Region, with Division Directors now reporting directly to him. Formerly, Simon was appointed to the position of Europe Region Director in 2019, and has also served as the Division Director of VATSIM UK. Outside of VATSIM, Simon works for British Telecom and spends his spare time on gadgets, reading and following his football team, Dundee United (albeit remotely at the moment). Vice President, Asia Pacific Region – Anastasios Stefopoulos Current VATSIM Asia Region Director, Anastasios Stefopoulos, has been appointed to the VATSIM Board of Governors as the Vice President, Asia Pacific. Anastasios will be responsible for all the divisions within the new Asia Pacific Region, with Division Directors now reporting directly to him. Formerly, Anastasios has served as Asia Region Director for the past seven years, and has also held several staff positions across VATSIM on various divisional and regional levels. Vice President, Americas Region – Federico Navarro Current VATSIM South America Region Director, Federico Navarro, has been appointed to the VATSIM Board of Governors as the Vice President, Americas. Federico will be responsible for all the divisions within the new Americas Region, with Division Directors now reporting directly to him. Formerly, Federico has served as South America Region Director for the past six years, and has also served as the Division Director of VATCA. Outside of VATSIM, Federico spends his spare time in the real skies, after getting his private pilot’s license in Costa Rica at the age of 18. Please join us in congratulating Simon, Anastasios and Federico on their appointments to these new roles, and to the VATSIM Board of Governors. As per the new VATSIM Code of Regulations, the remit and responsibility of each Regional VP is “to act as the Board of Governors’ representative to the various Divisions within the Region. The Vice President is responsible for activity growth, provision of ATC and ATC training." With these arrivals come, of course, some other changes to our senior personnel. First of all, from midnight tonight and after many years of being a significant part of VATSIM’s governance structure, the VATSIM Executive Committee is dissolved and its remit and responsibilities are absorbed by the VATSIM Board of Governors. I would like to thank each and every present, and former, serving leader on the Executive Committee for their commitment and contribution to the network. I would also like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Jackson Harding who is moving on from the Board of Governors following the dissolution of the VP Regions position as part of these changes. Jackson has been a fierce and loyal leader within VATSIM for many years, having undertaken a number of roles and supporting the network through thick and thin. On behalf of the Board of Governors and the whole community, I’d like to thank Jackson for his service and personally look forward to many more years of his guidance. Now - there is much work to do - let’s get to it! Gunnar Lindahl VATSIM President
    17 points
  14. Disclaimer: This is a sporadic PSA from my own experiences as a beginner, controller and supervisor on VATSIM. These are my own personal opinions, and does in no way reflect VATSIM's official stance on the issue. -- We have all been there, some just don't want to realize it. No matter who you are, how many hours you have or what the first three digits of your CID reads, we have all been through that palm-sweating frustration of not daring to press the PTT to ask for a clearance. Who hasn't felt the desperation when you couldn't understand an ATC instruction and didn't have the guts to admit it, only to mumble your way through it and hope he wouldn't catch up on it. As a supervisor I come across users with different amount of experience every session, and not once has an hour passed without me having to talk to or handle a beginner. And every time, i understand the situation they're in. A lot of people are afraid when the message from _SUP comes through, but fear not - we're only here to help. I will go to great extent to help beginners, give them advice, links, and follow them up on email afterwards if I have the time to do so. That is my duty, and my passion. Of course there are situations where a "newbie" can ruin for other users, such as departing without contacting the controller at EGKK during peak hours, where I have to take action to avoid major inconvenience for other people. If you are able to put yourself in his or her spot, you will see how frustrating, scary and nervous an experience like that might be. So from my experiences, I have some advice to other controllers on how to approach such situations. To controllers handling beginners: Out of the 1000+ hours I have gathered in my time as a controller, I can't recall how many times I've pulled my hair in frustration by beginners not following my instructions. Sometimes, it can feel like it will ruin the whole controlling session. And after walloping several times without response, you go to VATSPY, open the ATC tab, and see that…. WHAT, NO SUPERVISORS ONLINE?!?!?! My, oh my, do I remember that. But after some time, I started remembering things I had forgotten (or surpressed) from my time as a beginner on the network. From not understanding the top-down principle, not know what an IFR flight means etc... Unfortunately for me, VATSIM Stats saves all of that. 😕 Controllers; believe it or not. YOU are the face of VATSIM. Not the supervisors, not the BoG, not the people behind the scenes. YOU are the first person new pilots will talk to, and if you don't think about how you approach them - you might be the last one as well. Some controllers I've told this to tells me "it's not my job to teach pilots how to talk to ATC". And yes you are correct, BUT... Even though it's not your responsibility to teach them and hold their virtual hand through the virtual skies, how you act can be the difference between them staying and expanding their knowledge and their hobby through VATSIM, or being too scared to ever reconnect. Most of you do this very well - kudos to you. A good tip to everyone, use aliases. Whenever I talk to a beginner, I give them two links. The PLC (formerly called PRC) (vats.im/plc), and the CoC (vats.im/coc). The holy grail of beginnerland. If you're like me and lacks creativity, copy this into your alias file: The great myth of the wallop If you find yourself in a position where a beginner poses a conflict, or you are unsure what to do, never be afraid to wallop for a supervisor. I have heard about vACC/ARTCC's having policies about when you can and cannot wallop, which I question - but that is a different topic. A "wallop" is simply a way to send a message to online supervisors in order to notify them for assistance. Both pilots and Controllers can utilize this, and it is the same format across all clients. In order to send a wallop, write this into your scratchpad/text Box: Far too often I see people simply typing things like .wallop help, which gives us no way of prioritizing the case before initiating contact. That leads to a lot of lost time. Try giving a brief description of what is happening along with the callsign of the user - so we can get started right away instead of you having to write it all once more. A good example of a wallop is something like this: If I get a wallop like that, I can take immediate action instead of having to assess the situation because of lack of information. TL;DR Beginners aren't all that bad. Controllers are front figures. If you haven't got time to handle it yourself - wallop.
    16 points
  15. VATSIM is happy to announce that Tim Barber has been selected to serve as Vice President – Operations following the retirement of Mark Richards. In his new role, Tim will play a crucial role by ensuring all departments are working together to bring positive changes to VATSIM. Tim hails from Canada and joined VATSIM in 2001. He has held several staff positions on VATSIM, most recently as Vice President – Supervisors, a position he has held since 2016. In addition to his time in various VATSIM staff positions, he also helped start one of VATSIM’s first Authorized Training Organizations to provide VATSIM pilot ratings. Sadly, VATSIM also announces that Ethan Hawes, Vice President – Pilot Training has decided to retire from his position on the Board of Governors, one he has held for the past two and a half years. Under his leadership, VATSIM has come a long way in providing resources for pilot training, and further advancing our key goal of educating members. Some of Ethan’s key accomplishments were: · A complete redesign and relaunch of the pilot ratings program. · The introduction of the New Member Orientation Program and P0 rating exam. · Replacement of the legacy PRC with the new Pilot Learning Center, with resources in multiple languages The Board of Governors thanks Ethan for his service to the network and wishes him well in his future endeavours. This movement means that there are now two opportunities for our members to join VATSIM’s Board of Governors at an exciting time of change for the network. As we have shared the plans to bring faster position updates to you with the Velocity project, continue to explore ways to increase pilot quality, and continue to work with other partners to bring even more immersion to your flight simulation experience. Members interested in joining the Board of Governors as either Vice President - Supervisors, or Vice President – Pilot Training should stay tuned for an announcement on how to apply. As always, thank you for your continued membership and participation in VATSIM!
    16 points
  16. VATSIM promised me they would not be removing the old data feeds whilst legacy clients are using them. An absolute disgrace, and exactly why I shall never be doing any more development for VATSIM. Too many people playing at their fake job titles, not listening to sense. This is what happens with change for the sake of change. Cheers Gary Ex-AFV Lead
    15 points
  17. This is the crux of the issue. An incompetent controller who refuses to improve will drive away competent controllers. @Matt In the examples you provided, two of them refused to comply with the standards or re-train themselves in order to comply with standards. In the follow-up, you asked "So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?" No one is demanding perfection here, what we want is competence that simulates reality which is vastly different from perfection. I would rather fly with no ATC than be vectored in circles by an incompetent controller 10 out of 10 times. As a controller, I would in fact not log on if I know I'm going to have to fix and undo the errors of another controller who refuses to follow procedures or make an effort to do things the right way. It is not worth the effort and frustration I would have to put in when the other person refuses to put in any effort of their own.
    14 points
  18. Thanks Nick! We've got some great things that we're planning to bring to the Network. It's my pleasure to announce the new staff of the French vACC: François-Xavier Obert as ATC Training Director, an experienced C1 who has been active in the community for years Peter Pare as the Head of Digital Services, who has already brought us a great new website and associated discord server Fabrice R. as the Head of Marketing, who is already fired up thinking about our next big event This is only the start of the new structure, and we are actively looking for new members to join our staff, join us on discord for more information in the coming days. I want to make one thing clear: everyone is welcome, please come join us, visit our website and join our discord. We're looking forward to meeting you!
    14 points
  19. And you think this is a BAD THING??? If the controller doesn't care to keep up with changes, then why the heck would we keep him around? If you kept insisting that 2+2=5 after spending years doing my taxes, I sure as heck would not keep you as my accountant just to "connect an accountant to a tax payer"? If we're going to have this kind of standard, we're going to end up in IVAOs "no ARTCC" levels at some point - i.e. controllers who don't even know what a runway is and I for one, don't think I want to stand for - or be associated with that sinking ship. Matt - your comments come across like VATSIM 1. Has a severe lack of controllers online, and 2. Has no competition and won't in the future. It's becoming very clear that the BoG is interested in getting numbers, no matter if someone is an S1 forever, rather than keep their C1s around who is VATSIMs biggest issue - C1 retention.
    13 points
  20. Mark Richards retires from VATSIM Board of Governors It is with bittersweet feeling that the Board of Governors announces the retirement of Mark Richards from VATSIM’s Board of Governors after a long career serving VATSIM in various roles. Mark has spent the last 24 years as a member of VATSIM and previously SATCO staff with his most recent role as Vice President – Operations; one he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the regional director for the former Oceania region and chair of the Executive Committee. Early in VATSIM’s history, Mark played a vital role in creating new divisions within the Oceania region. In 2001 he was a founding member of the VATPAC division, serving as their first division director. He founded another division six years later in his home country of New Zealand, again serving as the first division director. Since joining SATCO in 1996 and then VATSIM in 2001, Mark has accumulated over 8,000 hours as a pilot, 1,800 hours as a controller, and 1,600 hours as a supervisor. Over 11,000 hours in total connected to VATSIM! While Mark is retiring from a long career as a VATSIM staff member, he does not intend to part ways with the network entirely. He is excited to continue to fly and control on the network while remaining a mentor for new staff members in his home division of VATNZ as well as around the world. Please join us in congratulating Mark on his tremendous career serving VATSIM members and wish him well in his future endeavours on VATSIM! There will be further news regarding the appointment of a successor in the coming weeks. There is a thread available here for those who may wish to leave Mark a message. On behalf of the Board of Governors
    13 points
  21. VATSIM New Year Message As another year draws to a close, we reflect on what has been an extraordinary and unusual year for all of us, wherever in the world we reside. First and foremost, we hope you and your families are safe and well. For our community, 2020 was busy. We clocked over 6.2 million flying hours and 630,000 controlling hours in the last 12 months. And in the summer, VATSIM hit 100,000 active members. In August, we saw the launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator, with VATSIM compatibility from day one. We also re-launched the pilot rating system and introduced a knowledge check for all new members. Since launch, 16,000 people have passed the P0 knowledge check and become fellow VATSIM members. VATSIM’s logo was refreshed and we adopted our new slogan: Aviate, Educate, Communicate. Finally, we made a significant change to VATSIM’s governance structure to bring our divisions closer to the network’s leadership. As we look ahead to 2021, we are excited to press ahead with our plans to further grow and enhance this great hobby. Our technical development team recently published a blog post which gives an overview of the technical workstreams under way, and we look forward to sharing more detail over the coming weeks and months. We’re also pressing ahead with plans for more opportunities for community feedback and input, starting with the launch of community Town Hall meetings where our valued members will be able to ask questions and suggest ideas directly to the Board of Governors and division leadership - this hobby is community-driven, and it’s important that everyone who makes VATSIM what it is has a voice. You can find out more details about the work being done and future plans by following our news article on the VATSIM website or following us on social media. You can also read our Board quarterly minutes here. Thank you to all of you for being VATSIM members. We wish you a safe and happy New Year. With best wishes, The VATSIM Founders and Board of Governors
    13 points
  22. Hey Everyone. I have waited for a while in order to get a view of all the opinions on this. And so I want to add my own thoughts as a division director of a division that has one FIR that has a language requirement that is enforced. Specifically our Montreal FIR. As you all may know, Canada IRL has two official national languages. English and French. In Quebec French is the dominant language, so much so in order to preserve the Quebec culture there is varying laws dictating how and when English may be used. Now, back to VATSIM. I have a Division where there is 6 FIRs which are predominantly English speaking and 1 FIR where there is a requirement for the controller to speak French to a level of being able to control. The FIR can provide training in English and some if not all of the documentation is both in French and English. In other words, the FIR has gone to every length to accomodate the visiting controller short of one thing. They must be able to control in French as there is a large number of pilots that ONLY want to converse in french. Then fly within the Montreal Airspace and not outside it. And IRL this is also applicable. I have and will continue to support Montreals language requirement. While CoR dictates that all controllers must be capable of controlling in English (again which aligns with RW), I see no reason why we need to inflict those same rules on Pilots. I would rather pilots focus their time on being able to fly and follow instructions properly than learning a new language! At the end of the day there is a WEALTH of places where a controller looking for a new challenge can go control, in a language they are comfortable with. There is no reason to inflict uncomfortable situations on pilots just to satisfy either a visiting controller or a "quantity first" style argument. When there really, to my view thus far, is no empiracle data that supports that this actually is a real issue. One thing that always sticks in my head about the Montreal FIR was a while back, they were in need of help from the training perspective. My Divisional Training Director took the time to learn French sufficiently to be able to adequately control in the language and thus, then be able to train controllers in that FIR. To me THAT was the right and most supportive thing to do. And kudos to him for doing so, for myself, I am lucky that all the staff in Montreal speak English so well and are willing to hold their meetings in English when I decide to turn up 😉 I'll admit, in the initial reviews of GCAP this one slipped past me as I was overly focused on other areas. However with the benefit of reading so many impassioned responses about this. I have to agree this is something that is important to many areas and I am unsure there is real tangiable benefit in dictating a path in a high level policy. Beyond, of course, it's up to the local division with RVP oversight. I think David has put this nicely. This is not something that should be dictated by GCAP. This should be left at the discretion of the RVP's. I think they are smart enough and know their respective area's well enough to make informed decisions with their divisions on what is best for each area. Phil
    12 points
  23. Hello All, This is an important discussion, however the posts here have reached the point of not being helpful to the process. To be clear, the VATSIM Board of Governors has not addressed this topic in a meeting, and no motions have been proposed or passed regarding this topic. If it is determined that a BoG discussion and vote is required, then it will be added to the agenda of our next meeting. In the meantime, I have emailed the parties and offered my assistance in resolving any outstanding issues. For now, I will lock this thread and would ask everyone to be patient while this is worked through. Many thanks,
    12 points
  24. Be honest, when was the last time someone tried to set an activity policy that had to be intervened by the BoG? Most ARTCC policies have to go through Division approval, and no Division would allow that through. We have a management structure in place for situations just like this, and they work 99% of the time. The 1% fringe case can be handled case-by-case by the BoG and doesn't need to be codified into policy. This is red tape for the sake of red tape. Not what VATSIM is about. VATSIM is about a mutual love of aviation, not LARPing the bureaucracy of the FAA.
    12 points
  25. In addition to the excellent advice above -- late runway and approach changes are something which happens, in real life perhaps even more so than on VATSIM, and they are part of the challenge of flying in to a busy, large international airport. With that in mind, if I were briefing for an approach in to somewhere like Frankfurt I would consider this a threat. Threat and error management (TEM) is a major part of flying a modern airliner - just as important, if not more, than the mechanics of actually flying and operating the aircraft itself. What is a threat? Basically, it is anything which might "catch us out" for want of a better word and cause us to have to deviate from the original plan. Most accidents come as a result of crews failing to anticipate or getting caught up in a course of action which they are not prepared for with the result that errors occur and the aircraft ends up somewhere it shouldn't be. There is, therefore, a lot of emphasis on identifying potential threats and, most importantly, how they should be mitigated, at the briefing stage. So in the brief, whilst we're comfortably in the cruise with our feet up, I will plan in the first instance for an approach to whichever runway I think is most likely based on the ATIS and experience (for instance, as Andreas says, if I am arriving from the north I might plan for 25R). However, having identfied the possibility of a late change as a threat, the question is then how can I best mitigate that threat and make sure that I am prepared to deal with it should it arise? Well, a few things I could do -- I could load the approach for 25L in to the secondary flight plan, get the charts up and have them prepared in the clip in case I need them. Are there any significant differences that I need to be aware of? Well, a few: 25R is much shorter at 2,800m - well, fine, if our landing performance allows us to land on 25R we'll be fine on 25L as well, so no need to redo that The missed approach routes are different as we would expect but they both climb to 5,000ft so that's the same either way There's a 10ft difference in the CAT I DA - i mean, probably going to be completely irrelevant but we'll just make a note of the DA for 25L The taxi routes are different - if we get 25L we need to vacate right instead of left and the big threat here is that we will have to cross 25C so we need to make sure we don't accidentally enter 25C after vacating! Otherwise - basically there's nothing major that leaps out, so if we get switched to 25L at a late stage I will: Activate the secondary flight plan Bring up the 25L chart and confirm that we have tuned and identified the correct ILS Bug the 25L DA Remind myself that I need to vacate right after landing and hold on M probably until I get further instructions. (and I would probably verbalise the above as part of the brief as well). Job done - and mostly all sorted out at a time of low workload in the cruise! Something else just to mention - listening to transmissions for other aircraft is also very important in terms of building and maintaining your situation awareness (SA) -- so if I'm coming down the arrival and I'm hearing other aircraft being cleared for the RNAV but I've briefed the ILS, I'd be thinking that now would be a good time to find the charts for the RNAV and perhaps get that ready in the secondary if need be. Again, it's about building that SA so as to get ahead of the game in terms of workload management. Ultimately, as Andreas says, the final level of mitigation is to make more time by asking for a hold/longer vectors/a longer final etc to allow us to get set up. Obviously from a commercial point of view we want to try and avoid taking more time and burning more fuel than we need to which is why there is so much emphasis on trying to get ahead of the game, anticipate any potential changes and get ahead of them so as to avoid this but ultimately from time to time even the best laid plans can be blown up by something totally unpredictable, and if I am presented with a genuine last-minute surprise that I don't feel I can adequately deal with in the available time/distance to go then that is always the preferable option to getting rushed in to something that I'm not ready for.
    12 points
  26. Mark Richards retires from VATSIM Board of Governors It is with bittersweet feeling that the Board of Governors announces the retirement of Mark Richards from VATSIM’s Board of Governors after a long career serving VATSIM in various roles. Mark has spent the last 24 years as a member of VATSIM and previously SATCO staff with his most recent role as Vice President – Operations; one he has held since 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was the regional director for the former Oceania region and chair of the Executive Committee. Early in VATSIM’s history, Mark played a vital role in creating new divisions within the Oceania region. In 2001 he was a founding member of the VATPAC division, serving as their first division director. He founded another division six years later in his home country of New Zealand, again serving as the first division director. Since joining SATCO in 1996 and then VATSIM in 2001, Mark has accumulated over 8,000 hours as a pilot, 1,800 hours as a controller, and 1,600 hours as a supervisor. Over 11,000 hours in total connected to VATSIM! While Mark is retiring from a long career as a VATSIM staff member, he does not intend to part ways with the network entirely. He is excited to continue to fly and control on the network while remaining a mentor for new staff members in his home division of VATNZ as well as around the world. Please join us in congratulating Mark on his tremendous career serving VATSIM members and wish him well in his future endeavours on VATSIM! There will be further news regarding the appointment of a successor in the coming weeks. On behalf of the Board of Governors
    12 points
  27. Hi all, It gives me great pleasure to announce the rebirth of the French vACC. With this comes a new home for the French community located here: https://vatsim.fr/ The new website provides more stable server with newer architecture and hardware to support the vACC going forward, as well as a discord server for all members to join. The new vACC Director is @Pierre Ferran. Pierre will be introducing his staff team shortly and with this we hope to see a burst of activity and new developments in the area. Please join me in wishing Pierre and his team best of luck in their positions!
    12 points
  28. Aidan Stevens, Vice President - Technical Development and Zach Biesse-Fitton, Vice President - Web Services have announced their intentions to retire from VATSIM’s Board of Governors. While we are sad to see them leave the Board of Governors, we are excited that both intend to pursue other roles within VATSIM and deliver the changes we have been working so hard to bring to production. Zach’s retirement from the Board of Governors corresponds to his desire to return to his home division in a senior leadership role as interim division director for VATPAC. Zach also wishes to allow a new member of the network to step up and continue to push and progress the technology further, with new skill and motivation. Aidan's departure from the Board of Governors will allow him to refocus his significant technical strengths and focus on other duties within the network. While Aidan and Zach’s departures leave chairs to fill on the Board of Governors, our network development has never been stronger. They have done a phenomenal job to organize great teams with strong leaders for all of our new technologies under development. These teams continue to work hard every day and will continue to do so. We want to officially thank Aidan and Zach for all of the work they’ve done during their time on the Board of Governors. They have led us through some of the most significant technical changes the network has seen in its history and have set up a succession plan to ensure that we do not lose any ground on our projects under development. We wish them the best in the new roles they have chosen to take within VATSIM, and thank them for their continued dedication to our network.
    12 points
  29. Dubai Intl. Airport (OMDB) was staffed during the whole week (27th Week), between 29th June 0000Z - 5th July 2359Z. This is the personal best record for the vACC. This wasn't possible without the support of the dedicated team of controllers from different nationalities that we have here in this vACC! We handled good amount of both IFR & VFR traffic during the whole week along with 2 events. Thanks to everyone for the support. Want to join an immersive, fun and engaging community? Why not join the U.A.E vACC as a pilot or controller! Start your ATC training with us at one of the regions busiest airport, head over to vatme.net/vacc/OMAE to learn more!
    12 points
  30. This week (Iron Mic Week 17) for the first time that I can remember, the VP Supervisors has been kept busy dealing with some extremely disappointing behaviour between two of the competitors. While I am not going to name and shame, I was VERY close to disqualifying both facilities from this week's competition, but as it made no difference to the final results, I have not. The results have spoken volumes that being petty is not worth the grief. Everyone; this is a fun competition that is all about encouraging ATC online, for which I, and the other members of the Board of Governors, support and encourage 100%, as we don't get nearly enough controllers online to support our pilots. Pilots are the winners when we have ATC online because having ATC and aircraft interact is the reason that we all join the Network. With the impact of COVID-19, everyone in the world is in strange, uncharted territory at present and VATSIM is no different. We have more members at home and therefore more members connecting than ever before. We see daily connection levels we most often see during significant events, and this is a fantastic testament to the place that VATSIM plays in our members' lives. The downside though is that many have too much time on our hands, and we see the sort of behaviour that Tim has been dealing with this week. Please, remember to be kind to one another and have some fun. Do your best to compete and get the ATC hours on the board and see then wait to hear the results. Please don't treat another facility poorly and consider everything you do. Just be nice! I ask nothing more. 😀
    12 points
  31. All rather a lot of wishy washy rubbish for what should be a really simple thing: being a staff member shouldn’t make you exempt from a requirement that applies to the rest of VATSIM, especially when it’s such a measly one! Controlling for an hour in a year to stay on a controller roster seems bloomin’ reasonable. Nothing in GCAP suggests you can’t be staff by not meeting this requirement, you just can’t be deemed an active controller. They’re completely different things. So get rid of the clause and shall we stop worrying about the hours in a day, month and year and commuting and contributing and what not… because we’re literally talking about an hour in a year to make sure that staff don’t think they’re above everybody else.
    11 points
  32. Hello everyone! This is my first post on these forums - and first post of, hopefully, more to come in 2021. As someone with over 1,700 hours on Vatsim, I figure I might as well throw a quick message up. First and foremost - I'd like to thank those involved in the upkeep and conduct of this network - you all are doing a fantastic job and, as someone who was absolutely terrified at the prospect of using it initially, I have had almost no issues with anyone here. As a blind pilot - someone who is unable to taxi to a runway - I'd also like to take this time to thank all of the controllers - hundreds, if not more, that I have dealt with during my time on this network. You are a huge part of what keeps me coming back - and you add such an amazing sense of realism and I have thoroughly enjoyed flying with you. I really can't put into words how much I for one appreciate the fact that you are willing to take this into consideration. As someone who has been into aviation my entire life, I truly hate not having the ability to taxi and add to the realism - but I'll take what I can get. Being able to follow all the procedures in the air is something I certainly don't take for granted, and there is only more to come in the future. There are too many places I need to leave positive feedback, at this point - and I honestly forget to when I have had a particularly positive experience. I'm still learning a lot each and every day - it's always a learning experience when I hop on. No flight is ever the same and that is yet one more reason I continue to thoroughly enjoy this hobby (more like an addiction now, with my hours). So, in closing, thank you for everything you have done and have planned for the future. I hope this is the correct place to send this. Take care and happy belated new year! PS: I must be missing something obvious, but how do I get my vatsim ID to show up as others have?
    11 points
  33. Hello everyone, Effective today, 7th March 2021 the position Eurocontrol Islands (EURI) will be closed. This heavy and difficult decision comes after some unprecedented times for VATSIM and the Europe region, through which we have seen an exponential increase in traffic numbers, numbers of sectors online at any given time and the complexity of both those two factors from an operations perspective with all the consequences from them. When combined, those factors make the position an extremely complicated one, as well as unneeded given the goal of the EuroCenter vACC of increasing ATC coverage across the Europe region. This is the result of long discussions between all involved parties and is a unanimous decision. I am pretty sure not everybody will be happy with this decision - and trust me this was not an easy decision. But I am convinced it is the right one. We had very good discussions with all involved parties and we all do believe this is the right step for the future. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to get in touch with the staff via the EUCvACC discord or [email protected]
    11 points
  34. We've heard your requests, and we understand that the current, colon-delimited datafile has been a pain to deal with and acts as a barrier to entrance for many new developers. As such, we have rewritten the dataserver which comes with a brand new JSON file that includes a 1:1 field mapping with the colon-delimited file. Documentation for this new file can be found here. This is officially v1.0 and is now considered in production. We are also doing our best to embrace open-source and community involvement with our technology, so you can find the code for the new dataserver on our GitHub, here. Please feel free to create issues and open pull requests. Please note that this does not mean we are deprecating the old file! We will continue to maintain that file for years to come to ensure that all of the current VATSIM tools you know and love continue to function properly. Please see the latest tech blog post for an update on the legacy data feed. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy! Regards,
    11 points
  35. 04 December 2020 The Founders and Board of Governors would like to take a few moments to thank our controllers and controller staff members for their hard work thus far in 2020 and their continued selfless contributions to our network. VATSIM would not be the best online aviation network in the world if it were not for the contributions and sacrifices our members who pursue air traffic control ratings make daily. The countless hours one puts into training for a new rating, providing air traffic services on the network for the pilots, and going even further above and beyond by training and mentoring our new controllers do not go unnoticed by the network’s senior leadership. We owe the continued success of VATSIM to each one of you. Your contribution, passion, and professionalism for providing air traffic control on VATSIM is a huge reason why so many pilots come back to our network! We understand that 2020 has brought its challenges to controlling for VATSIM with increased traffic, busier than normal events, and varying experience levels due to a renewed interest in flight simulation from the general public. You have handled these challenges with grace and professionalism, which is necessary as you are the face of VATSIM to a new member and key to the transition of a new member into a seasoned VATSIM veteran! Whilst we can never require a general pilot to go through nearly the same amount of training to fly on VATSIM as you did to control, we are looking at ways to increase both the mandatory and recommended training footprint for pilots on VATSIM. We started this process in August with the rollout of the “P0” rating and new member orientation course which all new members have been required to complete before connecting to VATSIM. This module provides the new member with the basic knowledge needed to complete a flight on VATSIM and it is now expected that all members should know this material. We have revised and updated the materials in the Pilot Learning Center on myVATSIM which provides information on many basic and advanced topics regarding flying on VATSIM. This is a great resource to point pilots when they need some help. We also have a direct link to the PLC which is https://vats.im/plc. Our newer members want to learn how to fly correctly on VATSIM and in various mediums they have stated their fears such as mic fright and not wanting to make a mistake which would detract from everyone else’s experience. It is on all of us to help ease those fears, educate, and get them flying. We thank our pilot mentors, ATO staff, and senior pilots who already have taken newer members under their wings and given help and advice. At the global level, we are working on ways to make training resources easily accessible. Some of these are short training videos on key topics, connecting people with training opportunities via the community discord server, social media discussions on scenarios, and masterclasses from real-world professionals on various best practices, and exploring ways to provide constructive controller feedback to individual pilots in a non-intimidating manner. We understand that it can be frustrating for a controller to experience pilot deviations. We hope that new pilots will take advantage of our revised training materials and pursue further pilot ratings. You can point a pilot towards the Pilot Learning Center found on myVATSIM if you feel it would help. We just ask that you do so in a respectful and discrete manner, such as in a private message. Remember that you are the first contact many users have with VATSIM and it is an immense responsibility! You hold the future of VATSIM in your hands every time you control! Again, we thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to support VATSIM. Best Regards, VATSIM’s Founders and Board of Governors
    11 points
  36. In accordance with the notice given at BoG Meeting Minutes and Schedule, the Board of Governors Meeting for Q1 2020 (January to March) will take place at 20:00UTC on Saturday 18APR20. AGENDA Open meeting, roll call, apologies, and proxies – Gunnar Lindahl Ad hoc votes since the last meeting – Mark Richards Old Business Proposed Changes to Executive Committee - Jackson Harding Roadmap Prioritisation Check-up - Mark Richards, Matt Cianfarani, Aidan Stevens, Zach Biesse-Fitton AFV and CTAF - Mark Richards New Business The future of CTP - Tim Barber VATSIM Events - Matt Bartels ATC Expectations and Training - Matt Bartels Creation of a VATSIM Prize Repository - Matt Bartels Department Updates Operations – Mark Richards Network Infrastructure - Matt Cianfarani Regions – Jackson Harding Technical Development - Aidan Stevens Web Services - Zach Biesse-Fitton Conflict Resolution – Norman Blackburn Virtual Airlines & SOA – Roger Curtiss Marketing and Communications – Matt Bartels Supervisors – Tim Barber Membership - Don Desfosse Pilot Training - Ethan Hawes Any other Business Close meeting
    11 points
  37. Dear Members, We are lately experiencing various cases (positive and negative) with Eurocontrol, and are have now decided to start a "Potential Project" in order to determine the future of Eurocontrol. In order to do such we need your feedback! Please follow this survey link and fill it out (will take 5-10 minutes of your time): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XD3NZJD NOTE: This survey will NOT determine the immediate future of Eurocontrol, it will give us an idea of which direction to point our work to. Many thanks for your cooperation and fairness! Regards
    10 points
  38. Here's a crazy idea. Remove the policy from GCAP altogether and let each subdivision create their own activity policy as they see fit. If a controller is unhappy with an activity policy at a particular subdivision, they can move to a subdivision with a more lenient policy. One size fits all policies like this are not the solution with a global network like VATSIM.
    10 points
  39. Yea I have to agree with Andreas..when you try and look into things too deeply and read between the lines is where things get all messed up. VATSIM is a beautiful place, really. Just think about all the hatred in the real world day to day. This is a place where no matter your colour/gender/religion/sexuality etc. you are always welcome and everybody is a friend, and THAT is what matters. Don't unnecessarily disturb it.
    10 points
  40. I've been misgendered on VATSIM for nigh on 20 years. I tend to laugh. Agree with @James Horgan though.
    10 points
  41. Introducing VATSIM Velocity! VATSIM is proud to reveal our new position updating technology called Velocity. Velocity provides position updates more rapidly our current FSD solution. The position update frequency is what determines how other user’s aircraft move when you see them in your flight simulators. For most applications on VATSIM the once every 5 second reporting along with interpolation within the pilot clients provided a solution that worked well. Occasionally, users would see other aircraft make unrealistic jumps or stutters when a new position report was received. However, flying which required a large degree of precision, such as high-speed formation flying was impossible on our servers. Velocity changes that narrative forever. Our positions updates can now be measured in hertz (multiple times per second) instead of the once every five seconds of our current technology. Once fully released, VATSIM users will be able to see other user’s aircraft moving noticeably smoother and be able to achieve true formation flying while flying on VATSIM. Velocity is currently in a closed alpha state, but all users can sign up for a chance to participate in this alpha at https://velocity.vatsim.net We look forward to implementing Velocity on the main VATSIM servers soon! Watch the launch trailer here!
    10 points
  42. Andreas, Earlier in this post you pleaded for your opinion to be recognised before a decision on EURI was made although now you have made a sarcastic comment after Bill has stated his opinion? The service provided by EUR control on a busy day is abismal.. There is my opinion 😉 Ta
    10 points
  43. I flew in the VATeir 24 Hour event and I could not let it pass without a mention on this forum. This small vACC just amazes me. Their staff team are second to none and their organization of community events is superb. It was an absolute pleasure to depart out of Dublin today and such a busy event it was. The controllers produced a truly professional experience from the start to the end. Well done to all for providing a most enjoyable afternoon for me. Events like these really make it an absolute pleasure to be part of this worldwide organization. Massive pat on the back to Cathal and his team, and to top it off a good sum of donations for a very worthwhile cause.
    10 points
  44. Hello, It deeply saddens me how rude pilots are on UNICOM. Last night I was departing Anchorage at around 10pm EST, and I was as usual doing my UNICOM announcements on voice and text. I know very well I am tricky to understand because of my disability. So to help, whenever I transmit ill type it as well. When I announced when I announced that I was departing, I got some quite rude feedback asking if I was "high", or "drunk", can't remember the exact wording but. Not the first time sadly won't be the last. Now I'm not writing this to bad mouth anyone, but let me try to tell you a bit about me and how seriously I take flight simming. I have Cerebral Palsy , and because of my disability i can't fly in real life. So flight sim is my only way to get closer to my one and only dream. I'm a 3rd year Computer Science student, hoping to get simming closer to the real thing, but let me tell you people on UNICOM making fun of the way you talk is not very realistic at all. I'm the VP/CTO of Virtual Northwest Airlines, and hold my P1 rating (hope to get it upgraded one day) . I fly around usually as NWA1999 (sometimes others) . Now I know everybody won't see this, but I'm only here, just like all of you to fly and have fun! So everyone just please think before you talk, if you really want to talk about people there are a lot of free services to talk privately. Let's leave UNICOM for the aviation talk. Robbie
    10 points
  45. This is an example of parts of the BoG being completely out of touch with the sub-divisions. It is not reasonable to say to me, as a sub-division leader that when a visitor wants to branch out beyond the confines of their home facility that I need to tell my instructors to prioritize them over an OBS who hasn't even touched the scope. VATSIM is and always has been a hobby of specialization, from what I can tell the goal of this community is to have an accurate simulation of ATC around the world. When VATSIM comes to it's membership and says "We want to break down borders and let it all go" it's makes us think that VATSIM wants to be more like IVAO where there is significantly less oversight of controller training and standards. I am not gonna sit here and say there needs to be no restriction because some accountability is useful, but 14 days? From a network wide policy, this reaches too far. I personally thought 90 days was fine as a division wide policy, that prevents people from sitting too long and waiting and also gives the divisions the latitude to shorten that time for their sub-divisions. It makes no sense to me that a visitor from another region can come to my facility and demand a comp check within 14 days of joining, when I have OBS-S3s who have been waiting months to steal a precious second with my instructors because they are so off the wall busy. Yes I am going to stick by Comp checks need to happen, but this huge oversight from the BOG is absurd to me and needs to reevaluated. Even from not my perspective, if say I a VATUSA controller, visited VATUK and then demanded they evaluate me to the minimum standard within 14 days, are the 40 OBSes that have been waiting a year for a intro session going to be happy? Of course not. I'd be livid, and I'm sure they would be too. My official proposal is restore it back to 90 days and put language to allow divisions latitude to shorten. This document is trying to do the job of too many division staff members at once. Let your divisions make policies that are most beneficial to them. The bestest regards, Shane
    9 points
  46. Hello all, I'm posting to let everyone know with as much advanced notice as possible, that I have begun planning for the eventual retirement of VRC. I have not done any new feature development for VRC in many years, mainly because VRC was written in a programming language that I haven't used since 2004, and I simply don't consider myself fluent in that language. (I really never did ... VRC is the only application I ever wrote in C++.) As such, I have no desire nor motivation to work on it, and any development time that I have available gets put into vPilot, vERAM, and vSTARS. So, as of today, we can all consider VRC to be EOL. (End Of Life.) It will still continue to function for the foreseeable future, but given the significant amount of tech development progress within VATSIM recently, it is only a matter of time before a change comes along that renders VRC incompatible. That will be the time that VRC is officially retired and will no longer connect to the network. I will give as much notice as possible once I know when that time is coming. I would love to give a more concrete idea of when VRC will be retired, but I really can't because it totally depends on other development progress. I won't retire VRC until I have to ... not until something changes with VATSIM's network infrastructure that makes VRC no longer function properly. One thing I considered was to rewrite VRC in a language that I'm comfortable with, such as the language that I use for my other VATSIM software, which is C#. I decided against that option because I feel that we simply don't need VRC anymore. Since I released VRC, several far more realistic and full-featured clients have become available, including Euroscope, vERAM, vSTARS, and vatSys. I would rather put my time into further developing my other software, instead of rewriting VRC. On that subject, I know that vERAM and vSTARS are not currently a suitable replacement for VRC, since they are designed to be high-fidelity simulations of the real ERAM and STARS radar systems. As such, they are great for working Center and Approach positions, but it can be cumbersome to use them for top-down controlling, or especially controlling tower cab positions (DEL/GND/TWR.) Therefore, my plan is to enhance vERAM and vSTARS so that they are more suitable for these scenarios. I don't know yet exactly what this will entail, but it will likely be a matter of adding a "ground" mode that shows all targets regardless of radar coverage and without having to initiate track. Similar to the top-down mode that these clients have now, but with even more functionality to make the Cab controller's job as easy as it is in VRC. This ground mode would probably include an arrival list and a departure list, and some of the other VRC tools like the wake turbulence timers, the reminder list, etc. It will probably end up looking very similar to VRC, in fact. The big difference is that it won't use sector files. It'll likely use the video map format that is currently used by vSTARS. I would love to hear any suggestions that controllers may have for making vERAM and/or vSTARS more suitable for top-down controlling and controlling tower cab positions. Please post them right here in this thread.
    9 points
  47. VATSIM is delighted to announce that Matt Bozwood-Davies has been elected to VATSIM’s Board of Governors as Vice President, Technical Development. Matt works in web and software development in his real world job, and has a strong background in the online flight simulation community. Many of you will know him from previous staff positions in Jacksonville ARTCC, or more recently from his involvement with BAVirtual, as well as being a VATSIM Supervisor. Matt has been an active VATSIM developer for many months, mostly focussing on myVATSIM which is the hub for the new registration process and P0 entry test slated for release within the coming days. In our continuing efforts to consolidate and modernize our leadership structure, Matt will be assuming the tasks of Vice President Technical Development and Vice President Web Services so that one Vice President oversees the entire VATSIM development cycle. This means that multiple VPs will not be overseeing overlapping teams and clear priorities can be set for our developer community. This will be a trial and we will review the outcome over the coming months - the VP Web Services role will remain in the Code of Regulations for the time being. Please join us in welcoming Matt to the Board of Governors!
    9 points
  48. Due to a number of issues, notice is hereby given that the Iron Mic competition has been suspended until further notice. The future of the competition is being discussed at the VATSIM Board of Governors Meeting next Saturday and the final decision on its future will be released with the minutes of that meeting. The results published for Week 26, will be the final results published pending the decision of the BoG. No correspondence in respect of the reasons for this will be entered into.
    9 points
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